On Saturday afternoon Altona Park was the site of the 2024 Pembina Valley Pride March and Rally. The event brought a diverse crowd of supporters and participants from across the community. Aimed at celebrating the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, the day featured a variety of activities including a march, musical performances, speeches and informational booths set up by local organizations.

"There was a time, when to be included in this community, you needed to have certain beliefs, speak a certain language, have certain identities, act, dress a certain way, you had to conform to a very narrow social contract... Make the effort, be overt, make it clear that the social contract in our communities, has broadened to include far more people than it used to," said Peter Wohlgemut, past president of Pembina Valley Pride and attendee of the event.

Families and individuals enjoyed a sunny afternoon filled with vibrant colours and festive decorations. Children enjoyed the face painting, crafts and bubble machine, while adults mingled and browsed through stalls showcasing art and merchandise from local vendors.

Notable speakers included community leaders and activists who spoke about the importance of inclusion and diversity. Their messages resonated with many attendees, highlighting unity and understanding within the community. The atmosphere was largely celebratory, with people sharing stories and connecting over shared experiences.

"I just love Pride. Everybody's so delightful, colourful and so happy and just looking out for each other," said Pauline Emerson, president of Pembina Valley Pride. "We don't celebrate Pride just because we are proud of who we are... we celebrate Pride to show that every single day, we become more intolerant of bigotry, of oppression and the marginalization of our entire rainbow community."

There were a number of people present at Altona Park during the afternoon in opposition to the event. Some attendees gathered at one point and arranged themselves in a way to block the protestors' view.

Returning speaker Perseus Hamm noted, "It is essential to encourage the day-to-day celebration of queerness through a lens of acceptance."

Overall the Pride event at Altona Park highlighted the community’s efforts to encourage a sense of belonging, and support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ population and allies. It was a day marked by festive celebration and a strong sense of community.